Wrecking ball pending, Anoka facility looks to help homeless veterans

A facility for the mentally ill, forgotten by time, could have new purpose -- to give homeless veterans a place to live.

A nonprofit called Common Bond recently pitched to the Anoka City Council that the three old buildings sitting vacant on 4th Avenue along the Rum River, which could soon face a wrecking ball, should instead be a place for shelter for American heroes with nowhere else to go.

Laurel Miller, director of the Stepping Stone Shelter in Anoka, always wondered why the beautiful brick cottages remained so empty for so long. She envisions they could become just as beautiful on the inside and converted into affordable, long-term housing.

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